Powered by Blogger.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Review: The Devil's Child (Diavlo)


Director: David Bohorquez

Screenplay: David Bohorquez

Year: 2021

A young nurse lands a job taking care of an older man in an isolated house in the woods. While she’s at the house, the nurse starts reliving childhood traumas that lead her to question her own identity and what’s real and what’s not. Slowly, the house and the family that it belongs to make her discover things about herself that even she ignored.

The first thing that catches the attention of “The Devil’s Child”, also known as “Diavlo”, is the beautiful visuals. Each shot has an artistic flair that makes it hard to look away from the screen, and the location selected to shoot in Colombia adds a natural element that offers much to this aspect. Surprisingly, even when it is shot in Colombia and has a Colombian director and lead actress, there is nothing about this country in the movie, whose plot takes place in the United States.

How the plot is established and the first scenes we see inside the old house lead us to expect an exciting vampire movie. Winks to horror genre classics do not go unnoticed, such as scenes reminiscent of Lucio Fulci’s “The Beyond”, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, and even F. W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu”. However, this movie from director and screenwriter David Bohorquez (“Demental”) falls far from being an appropriate tribute to any of these classics.

It is hard to pinpoint the movie’s main issue, as it shuffles between a few, and it is not that they are not well done, but rather that they don’t work as intended. For example, the script bets for an open plot, relying more on the viewer’s interpretation but doesn’t give enough information to achieve it. Instead, the plot becomes disjointed, and its slow-burn progress doesn’t get to an appropriate reward.

Another problem is the acting, which is not bad, but again doesn’t work as intended. The main actress, María Camila Pére, in her debut full-length movie, lands a decent performance that will surely open new opportunities for her, but she doesn’t command the screen as what’s required from her character. Similarly, the chemistry among the rest of the characters is almost non-existent, making them achieve good performances when they are alone, but when they are together on screen,  it seems like they are in two different stories.

“The Devil’s Child” seeks to be a tribute to classic horror movies, particularly vampire movies, but its disjointed plot makes it hard to understand if it even belongs to that subgenre. The director and screenwriter has good ideas and intentions, but his execution ends up playing against him. On the other hand, it must be recognized that the whole crew involved in this movie has plenty of talent and leaves you wanting to see what they can do after polishing their skills.

No comments:

Post a Comment